The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.
– NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, when asked by the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill about why he decided to become a whistleblower